Pelton was the area's premier defender for the area's premier team. He stabilized Malvern's defense as the Friars completed a 24-0 season. With Pelton at the helm, Malvern allowed an opponent to score more than six goals just seven times this season. He was voted Inter-Ac League's Most Important Player and is one of four area players to be selected to next month's Under Armour All-American game in Towson, Md. The senior will play next season for Duke.
The Friars' perfect season had much to do with their ability to dominate possession. And no one was more crucial to that than Kelly. He won more than 75 percent of his faceoffs this season and then promptly ran off the field. Kelly had one job: win faceoffs. And he did it better than anyone else. The junior has committed to North Carolina.
The senior played with aggression and was one of the Red Devils' most vocal leaders in their run to the PIAA championship game. In the semifinal win against Radnor, Schreiner saved a blazing shot with his leg. Instead of grimacing with pain, he pumped his arms and urged on his team. He will play in next month's Under Armour All-American game and will join teammate Tanner Peck at Penn State.
The senior saved his best performances for the season's biggest games. Manganiello scored five times in the PIAA semifinals to send Penncrest to its first state final. And then he scored five more goals in the championship game to clinch the school's first PIAA title in any sport. The most impressive score was his behind-the-back, bounce shot in the championship game. The Central League MVP, Manganiello is bound for Delaware.
Zappala's performance as a junior this year is cause for excitement for next season, when he is expected to be one of the area's most dynamic scorers. A Maryland recruit, he was one of two junior attacks named to the Philadelphia region's U.S. Lacrosse all-American team. Zappala was the Churchmen's top offensive weapon, and his older brother, Brian, was the team's goalie.
The levelheaded senior is an all-American and played like it, leading Avon Grove to the District 1 championship. In the PIAA playoffs, Peck kept Avon Grove's season alive with a powerful 10-yard shot with 5.9 seconds left to stun Hershey. He opened the PIAA championship game with a pair of quick goals before Penncrest's defense locked in on him. Peck will continue his lacrosse career at Penn State.
Most faceoff specialists are FOGOs (faceoff, get off) because they leave the field after a draw. But Protesto, one of the area's rare FOSOs (faceoff, stay on), remains on the field. The senior, bound for Hartford, also was one of the Lions' leading scorers this year. He dominated in the faceoff circle in the fourth quarter of the team's quarterfinal win against La Salle and again in the PIAA final. His ability to control possession allowed Penncrest to score eight straight times in the title game.
St. Joseph's Prep
Walsh was one of the Prep's top scorers but also the team's best facilitator. The senior drew the attention of opposing defenses and created space for his teammates. Walsh scored 19 goals in Catholic League action and was named the league's MVP. He scored three times in the Hawks' Catholic League-championship loss to La Salle, including the tying goal with less than a minute left. Walsh will play next season for the Naval Academy.
Alderman was the Ches-Mont League's MVP and will play next season for Hofstra. He was one of the leading scorers for the Ches-Mont's regular-season champions. He scored three goals to lead Shanahan into the District 1 championship game, which the Eagles lost to Avon Grove.
Farnish began his junior season by committing to Notre Dame and then went on to be one of the area's top shutdown defenders. He was the area's lone junior defenseman named to the region's U.S. Lacrosse all-American team. Farnish will be one of the key players next season for a Raiders team that likely will return a lot of young talent.
The Fords advanced all the way to the Inter-Ac Invitational final in large part because of their defense. Keating, a senior, was the central part of that unit. He helped Haverford hold opponents to eight goals or fewer in 19 of its last 21 games. Keating is the area's lone defender named an Under Armour All-American, and he will play next season for Penn.